Another week (nearly) under our belts. Thank You, Lord.
By Friday afternoon, boy, are we marinated and cooked. I can hear baby girl mewing for me from her crib with a weird early wake-up but she needs to nap longer so I will leave her be while I try to crank out a post.
This past week, I watched a video of a mom stating that the five foundations for a strong family are:
Which one are you strongest in? Which one do you need to work on?
I thought “love” as a catch-all topic was odd as it seemed more like the big umbrella under which 2-5 should fall. We all love our kids fiercely.
Without overthinking it, I am strongest in communication while we are outside of the home. I may loathe all things domestic but I will constantly talk to my kids about their feelings – in the car, taking a walk, taking a walk to Del Taco. In the car is a big one.
Though Kevin teases me for being so Oprah, he does appreciate that I talk to my kids about their roses and thorns, their highs and lows, and set the mood for our family to talk more.
Life is only going to get busier as the kids grow older. So many deadlines to calendar that one night, when I unexpectedly fell asleep at the same time as the boys, I only woke up to yell down to Kevin, “Can I afford to go back to sleep? What does our calendar say? Anything time sensitive for tomorrow?”
And yes, part of our busy, is because we chose it. Chose to join groups and activities that we just don’t want to cut out during this life stage. Maybe we will have to reassess soon but for now, everything we’ve joined is life-giving.
Looking back at this past week, everything blurs together, all the photos on my phone – sports, church, school, library – but for some reason, our first impromptu walk to Del Taco for post-homework mini-shakes stands out as a memorable moment in the mundane.
One thing I miss about NYC is how we walked lots. So I told the kids that the boys can scooter and Olive can ride in her toy car to Del Taco, if they finish their homework fast. We went for a walk, including my still-healing left pinky toe. Olive clearly delighted in this break from routine, an unusual walk to a “restaurant” with her brothers zigzagging past her, and back.
While there, I told the boys to take turns, practice asking for things politely while I watched from afar: “Excuse me, may we have some more napkins, please? Thank you,” to split fries three-ways without fighting, to throw away all of our trash without dropping the tray in the trash, to be mindful of others’ space when we park our scooters and car.
Ellis held the door open for all of us plus a lady who never even glanced at him or offered a “thank you” even as he used his entire body to keep the door open. “That lady never said ‘thank you,’ Mom.”
So I shared with him about how non-thankers are also my pet peeve and how I once ran after a man in Manhattan to return all the cash that blew out of his back pocket on a particularly windy morning, and he might have said, “Oh,” at most, even after I went out of my way to return it to him. I told him about how this world is full of all kinds of people, including rude people who may hurt us, and how we will also hurt others, both unintentionally and intentionally.
Then on the walk back, a senior citizen dropped all the contents of his wallet on the sidewalk so while the scene barely began to register with me as I barked at the kids, “Don’t scooter into each other! Watch the street. Don’t scooter into sister! Watch Mom’s foot – I can’t afford another injury!” Micah had already ran to the gentleman and started picking up his credit cards for him.
I told him that was very kind and proactive of him.
Okay, Olive is crying lots so I gots to go. Marvel in the mundane. Watch for wonder. I’d like to think those are my strengths as an imperfect, mistake-making mama.
Happy International Women’s Day!